Channel Leader Leaves 8x8 in 'Abrupt' MoveChannel Leader Leaves 8x8 in 'Abrupt' Move
Find out who the new channel leader will be, at least in the interim.
September 7, 2023
8×8 has appointed longtime channel executive Michael Quince as its interim global channel leader.
The move comes just five months after the company appointed Quince vice president of North American channel sales. Before that, he held roles as director of channel marketing and senior regional vice president of channel sales, amounting to more than six years with the firm.
“In his 6 years at 8×8, [Quince has] demonstrated a high level of energy, business acumen & passion for building/sustaining high performing sales teams,” 8×8 wrote on LinkedIn and X (formerly Twitter. “Excited for his leadership & continued commitment to the channel!”
Lisa Del Real
Quince replaces Lisa Del Real, who held the position of 8×8 channel leader for a little less than two years. Before that, she was the VP of strategic partnerships for Avaya Cloud Office, a joint business cloud phone offering delivered by RingCentral and Avaya.
Del Real spent more than 11 years there before moving to 8×8. Channel Futures has learned that Del Real is moving on to build a channel program for a startup in a different industry.
Despite Del Real’s move, sources Channel Futures spoke to said the shift appears to be “abrupt.”
“8×8 is fully committed to being a partner-led organization and we continue to invest in our valued partners for shared success and growth,” said Lisa Martin, 8×8 chief revenue officer, in a prepared statement. “We thank Lisa Del Real for her vision and leadership building the 8×8 partner program, and we wish her all the best in her next venture. Michael Quince, who leads our North American channel organization, will step in as the interim channel chief while we conduct a thorough search for a global channel chief who will continue accelerating our investment and growth within the partner ecosystem. An acknowledged leader in channel sales and marketing, Michael has an outstanding track record focusing on both the partner experience and improving customer satisfaction.”
Here’s our list of channel people on the move in August.
What Channel Changes at 8×8 Suggest
Raul Castanon is a unified communications and collaboration (UCC) analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence. He told us in a recent sit-down that cloud communications has become intensely competitive.
Vendors such as Cisco, Dialpad and RingCentral have all maintained what he calls a “relentless pace regarding product innovation.”
“And that can be felt at times,” Castanon said, “as it has even been tough to keep up with the speed of innovation pumped out by UCC firms every day.”
There seems to be a fresh round of announcements daily by all the major and non-major players. But, according to Castanon, “8×8 holds its own when it comes to the product; however, even though it reports double-digit growth over the past five years, it faces mounting pressure from competitors.”
With one part of the equation mastered, Castanon notes that merely knowing product development is not sufficient, also adding: “8×8 has some learning to do concerning the sales process and its channel program.”
He sees the move as embracing a culture of change and looking to enhance a program with considerable prospect.
“While perhaps reflecting some growing pains, the shake-up to replace 8×8’s channel [leader] is positive news for channel partners,” said Castanon.
4th Channel Leader in Recent Years
This is the firm’s fourth channel leader since 2018, with John DeLozier serving in that role from 2018-2021. He moved on to ScanSource, where he held the role of Intelisys president until last month.
Bobby Hall was in the position before any of the above-listed channel chiefs, performing the tasks of that job for more than four years. Hall has since moved over to take the helm as channel chief at LiveVox.
Increasing internal and external pressure is probably the reason why the average tenure for a channel leader is only two years, per Canalys analyst Jay McBain. Castanon cites that pressure and potential burnout as primary reasons for turnover.
One prominent study of 60,000 Microsoft employees in the first half of 2020 found that working remotely prompted people to work 10% more weekly hours. Whatever the case, the sentiment on social media is celebratory for 8×8’s new interim chief, with commenters on the post adding “congratulations” to Quince.
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